Bay trees can take decades to become mature enough to flower. , Poultices of Umbellularia leaves were used to treat rheumatism and neuralgias.  There are also two recorded instances of trees growing in coastal British Columbia. It is the sole species in the genus Umbellularia. 9000 SE Division, Portland, OR 97266. Common Name: Bay laurel, sweet bay, culinary bay. However, when the bank reopened and the city appealed for people to bring their myrtlewood money in to redeem it, many opted to keep their tokens as collector's items. Even today, bay remains a symbol of victory and honor (think of the words baccalaureate, or poet laureate). Propagation by stem cuttings is also possible, but they may take a very long time to root. Indoor plants may be affected by scale. Fewer than 10 full sets are believed to exist. It is also grown as an ornamental tree, both in its native area, and further north up the Pacific coast to Vancouver in Canada, and in western Europe. Purchasing potted bay from the Nursery is by far the easiest and most reliable source of plants! Trees Abies amabalis Pacific silver fir. They are abundant near water sources, in canyons, valleys from sea level to 5000 ft (1524 m) with the smallest forms found in dry chaparral woodlands.  The Pomo and Yuki tribes of Mendocino County treated headaches by placing a single leaf in the nostril or bathing the head with a laurel leaf infusion. The flavor, depending on roast level, has been described variously as "roast coffee," "dark chocolate" or "burnt popcorn". A plant of much renown and lore, bay is an essential culinary herb with a long history. Since it is quite slow-growing, it can live a long time in a pot. , Umbellularia californica is a host of Phytophthora ramorum, the pathogen that causes the disease sudden oak death. Umbellularia leaf imparts a somewhat stronger camphor/cinnamon flavor compared to the Mediterranean bay. Long, slender leaves and compact habit. The hard inner seed underneath the fleshy mesocarp, like the pit of an avocado, cleaves readily in two when its thin shell is cracked. Re-pot as necessary, when the roots start to come out the bottom of the pot. Home | Umbellularia californica is a large hardwood tree native to coastal forests and the Sierra foothills of California, as well as to coastal forests extending into Oregon. It has also been called pepperwood, spicebush, cinnamon bush, peppernut tree, headache tree, mountain laurel, and balm of heaven.. The leaf can be used in cooking, but is spicier and "headier" than the Mediterranean bay leaf, and should be used in smaller quantity.  Only one native species from the laurel family, Umbellularia californica, remains in California today. After several appeals, the city announced that the tokens would remain legal tender in the city of North Bend in perpetuity. The flowers are small, yellow or yellowish-green, produced in small umbels (hence the scientific name Umbellularia, "little umbel"). There are only a few varieties of bay available, but they are all evergreen and good for culinary use. According to a modern Miwok recipe for acorn soup, "it is essential that you add a generous amount of California laurel" when storing acorns to dry, to keep insects away from the acorns.. It is considered an excellent tonewood and is sought after by luthiers and woodworkers. Classes | Portland Nursery on Stark The fragrant leaves are smooth-edged and lance-shaped, 3–10 cm long and 1.5–3 cm broad, similar to the related bay laurel, though usually narrower, and without the crinkled margin of that species. It is also found in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Umbellularia californica is also used in woodworking. Use a balanced organic fertilizer about three times a year: in spring, summer, and early fall for best results. Bay plants are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers occur on separate plants, and each are needed to produce fruit and seed. Leaves are left whole to cook, but are not themselves eaten because they are stiff and sharp and can potentially cause damage to the mouth or throat if ingested. In the north, it reaches its distributional limit through southwest Oregon to (infrequently) Newport, Lincoln County, Oregon, on the coast, extending from there south through California to San Diego County.  Native Americans dried the fruits in the sun and ate only the lower third of the dried mesocarp, which is less pungent.. New growth is bright gold. It can be grown in sun or shade and can be clipped into a hedge. , Flowers open in late winter and early spring, Nearly ripe bay nuts being prepared for roasting, Roasted bay nuts ready for eating, or grinding into a powdery paste for beverages and cooking, "The 'headache tree' via umbellulone and TRPA1 activates the trigeminovascular system", http://www.pnwherbaria.org/data/results.php?DisplayAs=WebPage&ExcludeCultivated=Y&GroupBy=ungrouped&SortBy=Year&SortOrder=DESC&SearchAllHerbaria=Y&QueryCount=1&IncludeSynonyms1=Y&Genus1=Umbellularia&Species1=californica&Zoom=4&Lat=55&Lng=-135&PolygonCount=0, http://bridge.botany.ubc.ca/herbarium/details.php?db=vwsp.fmp12&layout=vwsp_web_details&recid=160896&ass_num=V227198, http://bridge.botany.ubc.ca/herbarium/details.php?db=vwsp.fmp12&layout=vwsp_web_details&recid=91360&ass_num=V209829. It occurs at altitudes from sea level up to 1600 m. An isolated, more northern occurrence of the species can be found in Tacoma, Washington, around Snake Lake near the Tacoma Nature Center. If you see two bay leaves stuck together with a cottony substance, peel them apart and destroy any caterpillars you find. Golden-leaf bay. Powdery mildew is sometimes an issue. This is ideal if you have a very small garden, or if your climate is cold enough to where you’ll need to bring the plant inside for the winter. The unredeemed tokens have become very valuable, because of scarcity and historical interest. Bay leaves are used either fresh or dry to flavor all kinds of savory recipes, from soups and stews to rice or meat dishes. Click image to enlarge  The Concow tribe call the plant sō-ē’-bä (Konkow language). Also be sure to choose a place that is protected from potential wind. California bay laurel drops an abundance of leaves, especially in autumn when older leaves turn yellow and drop. This tree mostly inhabits redwood forests, California mixed woods, yellow pine forest, and oak woodlands. Abies concolor white fir. Umbellularia is in fact closely related to the avocado's genus Persea, within the family Lauraceae. On good bottomland sites, mature trees can attain diameter… Bays occur in oak woodland close to the coast, and in northern California where moisture is sufficient, usually in or near riparian areas. Hardy to USDA Zone 7 Native to southwest Oregon, south along Coast Range, and in Sierra Nevada, to southern California.  The leaves were steeped in hot water to make an infusion that was used to wash sores. The tree is a host of the pathogen that causes sudden oak death. A handsome tree, it is often grown in gardens and along avenues. One popular use for the leaves is to put them between the bed mattresses to get rid of, or prevent, flea infestations. The wood is used as lumber in furniture making, especially highly figured specimens.. Sign up today! 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